The Northern Cardinal, also called Common Cardinal, is native to southern Canada, most of east and central USA and Mexico. The male (above left) is scarlet red with a black face; the female (above right) is a light mousy grey-brown with pink-tinged wings, tail and crest. Both male and female have erectable crests. They usually both have bright red beaks but the two above are pale.
The Northern Cardinal is not closely related to birds in the genus
Paroaria also known as "Cardinals," such as the Pope and Red-crested Cardinals. The name "Northern" was given to separate it from these "southern cardinals," although the Vermilion Cardinal
(Cardinalis phoeniceus) is closely related and comes from South America. It is also related to the Grosbeaks.